Tuesday, January 12, 2016

FETA ATTRACTION by Susannah Hardy


Publisher:     Berkley
Published:     January 6, 2015
ISBN:       978-0425271650
Genre:      Cozy Mystery
Format:    Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com


Managing the Bonaparte House, a historic landmark dating back to Napoleon’s incarceration on Elba, Georgie Nikolopatos is at a cross-roads.  Married for about 20 years with a grown daughter Georgie is coming to terms with the fact that her husband is gay.  She’s not quite ready to part ways however.  Their daughter, Calista doesn’t know and neither does Spiro’s mother, Sophia.  Meanwhile local builder, Kevin has been in pursuit of Georgie.  She’s giving a relationship with him some serious consideration especially when he openly declares himself to her while taking her over to the Castle to spend the night with her friend Liz while the Ghost Squad TV shows looks into some mysterious activities in Bonaparte House.  On their way, however, they come upon a body floating in St. Lawrence River and it turns out to be rival restaurant owner, “Big Dom” Domenic DiTomasso.

On the heels of Big Dom’s death Spiro goes missing and even his boyfriend doesn’t know where he is.  Complicating things are a series of mysterious notes and emails demanding Georgie turn “it” over or she won’t see Spiro alive again.  Can she locate the mysterious object before Spiro joins Big Dom in the great beyond?

Susannah Hardy’s FETA ATTRACTION is what I think of as a “kitchen sink” book.  It’s like the author had a list of story elements that seem to work and/or had some advice that she needed to include certain categories of people or events and threw it all in hoping something would stick.  For me, nothing stuck.

The mystery of looking for “IT” is actually a pretty good one.  Hardy could have written a fantastic straight out mystery of the Bonaparte treasure.  All Big Dom’s death did was to fulfil the murder element of a cozy mystery but really very little of the book had to do with looking for his killer.  And the whole bit about the Ghost Squad had me scratching my head wondering why it was even in there except to bump up the word count and maybe be a red herring. 

The descriptions of Bonaparte House are wonderfully descriptive and Sophie is a hoot. 

If Hardy wrote a straight out mystery I’d read it because her imagination and writing lend itself solidly in that direction.  This series, however, I can’t see myself continuing.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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